LIVE BLOG: The Leopold Trial – Day 7

| January 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

Today is the seventh (and likely last) day of the trial of Anne Arundel County Executive, John R. Leopold, who was indicted in March on four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation. The indictment alleged that Leopold used his executive security detail for personal and political gain. He has pleaded not guilty. Leopold has opted to be tried by retired Judge Dennis M. Sweeney, a retired Howard County Circuit Court Judge. Sweeney also presided over the trial of former Baltimore Mayor, Sheila Dixon. On Friday, Sweeney acquitted Leopold on one of the misconduct accounts. Yesterday, the defense rested their case and today will be the closing arguments and (as expected) the verdict.

This is a live blog and commentary will be updated as it happens in the courtroom. There is no need to refresh the page. The trial will get underway at 9:00am.

This live blog (and future ones) will be factually correct; however, it will be presented casually as commentary with heavy doses of opinion, humor, and even a little bit of snark.  For traditional reporting of the trial, we recommend that you check out the stories from Allison Bourg of the Capital Gazette and Anna Staver of the Annapolis Patch.

You are on Twitter…right? If not you should be. Please follow us (and others) on Twitter. The hashtag for the trial is #leopold.  Other media representatives covering the trial are also tweeting and you might as well follow them too. @abourg_capital, @annapolispatch, @melserwbal, @johnaaromwtop, @annyswapo, @amaxsmith, @jlepolastewart, @cherylconner, @andsiegel, @bsimms11 and @annapolisscott.

Please read our recap of opening day , day 2,  day 3day 4, day 5, and day 6; as well as our live blog from the second , third , fourthfifth day and sixth day. (Note: there is no live blog from the first day, we installed the software after the first day).

Note: there may be a delay in the first post due to a previous commitment in the morning.

Leopold Banner

John Frenaye January 29, 20134:24 pm

Of course traffic spike makes server glitchy. Sorry.

John Frenaye January 29, 20133:51 pm

Correction count two was tossed. Not guilty on count three.

John Frenaye January 29, 20133:49 pm

Not guilty on count two.

John Frenaye January 29, 20133:49 pm

Leopold guilty of first count of misconduct in office.

John Frenaye January 29, 20132:49 pm

We are back for possibly a verdict. Hang tight.

John Frenaye January 29, 20131:18 pm

Finally, it’s over. Lunch now. Verdict later. Not sure if it is today or tomorrow.

John Frenaye January 29, 20131:03 pm

Maybe if the prosecution keeps saying the same hing, it will help…..not.

John Frenaye January 29, 201312:52 pm

Defense wrapping up says Leopold is enigmatic, idiosyncratic, unconventional, and not guilty.

Now prosecution, McDonough, is rebutting. Probably because Davitt did such a good job the first time around.

John Frenaye January 29, 201312:38 pm

Seems like defense is wrapping up. I believe prosecution gets a chance for rebuttal. I suspect we break for lunch, hear rebuttal after and possibly a recess and verdict late in day. But possibly may bring back tomorrow for verdict. Been a wild week plus.

John Frenaye January 29, 201312:33 pm

Sweeney told defense to not spend too much time on counts 3, 4, 5 because “I think I understand.”

This seems to me like a sign that the only count in play is the first one.

John Frenaye January 29, 201312:23 pm

Bruce Marcus puts up slide of Car 54 Where Are You. Asks where Chief Teare and Major Bergin were for prosecution. Contends they were not called because they would testify on cross examination that they approved overtime and either saw nothing wrong, or did nothing.

John Frenaye January 29, 201312:03 pm

Marcus continues that every officer testified they did not think anything Leopold or they were doing was illegal. The personal issues were reported up the chain and nothing was done from the Chief on down.

John Frenaye January 29, 201311:47 am

Marcus arguing that EPU was only established a few years prior under Janet Owens and there were no specific parameters but only a general understanding of what it was responsible for. Keep in mind that orders from top were to keep Leopold safe and happy.

John Frenaye January 29, 201311:40 am

Marcus claiming the State used misfeasance instead of malfeasance in indictment (or vice versa, got confused) but now prosecuting the other crime. Sweeney looks up definitions and seems to be considering the points.

John Frenaye January 29, 201311:18 am

Count 1 guilty
Count 2 thrown out
Count 3 guilty
Count 4 not guilty
Count 5 not guilty

Sorry or confusion, difficult to hear. We are on recess for 15 minutes then back for sentencing

John Frenaye January 29, 201311:18 am

Marcus is re-highlighting opening statement. Imploring judge to hold Leopold case to “beyond reasonable doubt.”

States the prosecution has shifted focus in past to days away from the charges at hand.

John Frenaye January 29, 201310:57 am

We are back. Defense attorney Bruce Marcus will be presenting he closing arguments for John Leopold.

John Frenaye January 29, 201310:49 am

State finished their closing arguments. In a brief recess and then the defense will close.

John Frenaye January 29, 201310:40 am

Davitt agreed with Sweeney that if Leopold is found not guilty of count 4, that count 5 is a moot point.

Some think that there may not be a verdict today due to time it is taking for closing arguments.

John Frenaye January 29, 201310:36 am

Sweeney said it was reasonable to have papers delivered since he needed to know what was being said.

John Frenaye January 29, 201310:21 am

Davitt seem unable to argue the case of misconduct for having officers at nooners. Judge counters that danger is every where.

Judge asks where the line is drawn? If he got motel, would it be legal? What if he met a campaign donor? These are all questions Sweeney is asking the prosecution.

John Frenaye January 29, 201310:10 am

Davitt terms what Leopold did as “catheter abuse.” Judge lightens the tension in the room by saying he does not think “nooner” and “catheter abuse” have ever been uttered in Circuit Court.

He is also still grilling the prosecution if they have ability to prove case.

John Frenaye January 29, 20139:56 am

Defense brings up Medlin and the pee bag. Citing testimony where she was afraid to say no. Judge rebuts that she told him no about using officers for campaign signs. Sweeney said it seems very inconsistent.

John Frenaye January 29, 20139:49 am

Absolutely wild. The prosecution and the Judge are arguing back and forth. Sweeney reminds Davitt, “you have to love these allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Referencing Davitt’s earlier comment about any 8th grade class knowing this was wrong…that same class probably knows you need to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt.

John Frenaye January 29, 20139:43 am

I think prosecution just made fatal flaw. Judge really digging into Emmet Davitt. Davitt said that “misconduct is like pornography….you know it when you see it.” But porn is not illegal. Some porn is. And knowing when you see it is nit rely subjective.

John Frenaye January 29, 20139:36 am

There are probably 30 spectators here including Carl Snowden

John Frenaye January 29, 20139:34 am

Davitt arguing that Leopold should have known. That officers and staff testified they told him what he was doing was wrong.

Sweeney interrupts several times questioning various points. Is this misfeasance or malfeasance? He points out that testimony showed that the higher ups in the chain of command told their reportees to do what was needed to keep Leopold happy.

Judge seems to be questioning the States argument a lot. I’m not sure if this is typical.

John Frenaye January 29, 20139:07 am

And away we go.

John Frenaye January 29, 20138:49 am

Waiting for the final day. It is expected that each side will take approximately one hour for closing arguments, the Judge will break for consideration and lunch and a verdict will be handed down mid afternoon.

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Category: Crime News, Local News, NEWS, OPINION, POLITICAL NEWS

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.